Walking Weight Loss Tips


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One of the most popular exercises for individuals of all ages is walking. One of the major reasons for the popularity of walking is the low impact nature of such a light but effective form of exercise.

Walking is a natural movement for the human body and is an excellent form of exercise that will not only promote weight loss, but also improve your health, balance, coordination and a mental sense of well-being.

For individuals new to exercise, walking is an inexpensive and relaxing way to burn extra calories. People of old age or extreme obesity may begin a walking program by simply resolving to walk to the mailbox every day. Starting small and advancing in stages can eventually make walking a very effective way to get your daily 30 to 60 minutes of exercise.

How Much Walking is Necessary to Lose Weight?


Follow these simple tips to ensure that your walking program is sufficient to effectively lose weight.

  1. Most medical and sports professionals recommend walking for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 3 to 5 days per week. If possible, set a fitness goal to walk for at least 30 minutes per day, 7 days a week. By doing so, not only will your overall health improve, but you will achieve your personal weight loss goals at a quicker rate as well.

  2. For most individuals, a casual walk equates to approximately 150 calories burned per half hour. For example, by walking 3 times a week and burning 150 calories per walk, an individual would lose 5 pounds of excess body weight in approximately 39 weeks. To lose weight at an even faster rate, consider incorporating sprints, interval training, or walking on an incline to your weekly walking routine.

  3. Another approach to increasing the rate at which you lose excess body weight is to increase the number of days per week that you walk, and/or the duration of each walk. For example, increasing your walking time from 30 minutes to one hour, while maintaining the same pace, will increase the number of calories burned from 150 to 300. Likewise, simply performing your walking routine more days per week will increase the total number of calories burned per week as well. For example, walking for 1 hour, 5 days per week will burn a total of 1500 calories. In this example, an individual would lose approximately 5 pounds of body weight in 11.5 weeks, and 10 pounds of excess weight in 23 weeks.

  4. Consume a healthy, well-balanced diet in addition to your walking routine. There is no better way to lose weight effectively, safely and at a reasonable rate than combining an exercise routine with a healthy diet that focuses on consuming natural whole foods that are low in fat and high in nutritional content. Consuming a high number of daily calories that contain a high percentage of fat will only undermine your weight loss efforts and lead to a loss of motivation and determination.

  5. Consider coupling a strength training routine with your walking routine. By doing so, you will increase your muscular strength, lean muscle mass, and the rate at which you burn calories (Basal Metabolic Rate). For example, you could perform your walking routine on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and perform your strength training routine on Tuesday and Thursday. Strength training can be performed using body weight, weight equipment, elastic bands, medicine balls or exercise ball exercises. Please see our Fitness Exercises section for additional tips and exercise ideas. Use caution when walking with dumbbells or ankle weights, as there have been reports of shoulder and ankle strains and sprains associated with their use while walking.

General Tips for Walking Success


    healthy balanced diet
  • Do not take too long of a stride as you strive to walk at a faster pace when performing your walking routine. Doing so can rapidly fatigue your muscles and actually cause you to actually end up walking less of a distance. While walking with an increased stride does in fact burn more calories, the lowered overall time spent walking can be less effective in the long run.

  • Rather than increasing your stride length, try pushing off your leading foot with more force while keeping it closer to the body. This type of walking technique is regularly used by professional speed walkers and has been proven to be effective in minimizing fatigue.

  • A walking training journal is absolutely essential to track the results and progress of any program. Studies on the effectiveness of keeping training journals have certainly supported their value as a weight loss tool. In fact, they have been shown to increase the effectiveness of any program by 47%, and increased the speed at which participants met similar goals by nearly 65%. Staying organized while adhering to a program is almost as valuable as the program itself. Typical items to track in a walking training journal include the days that you performed your walking routine, the time of day or night that you performed your walking routine, the distance and time to complete each walking routine, the course in which you performed your walking routine, and your weekly weight.

  • Remember to focus on walking with your heel touching the ground first and then rolling your foot onto your toes. This is considered the best stepping technique for low impact. As you walk faster, the tendency to drop immediately to the middle of your foot is tempting. However, not hitting with your heel first adds a great deal of stress to your ankles and knees.

  • When rolling your foot forward, be sure to do so using the center of your foot. Upon careful examination, many people find that they tend to roll the outside of their foot when they walk. This can cause sprains from trips and falls and result in uneven wear of your walking shoes.

  • When you move into the next step, push with your entire toe. Not doing so can cause fatigue that will hinder calorie loss during exercise sessions.

  • When walking, be sure to rotate with your hips. The motion should move fluidly from front to back.

  • Twist at your waist as you walk. The twisting motion that this creates can look strange to an onlooker but is valuable for maintaining the maximum efficiency during your workouts.

  • As far as your mid-section is concerned, try to keep your back straight. Bending forwards or backwards can result in a reduction in speed.

  • To maintain maximum efficiency, maintain a 90-degree angle with your arms bent at the elbow.

  • Remember to keep your hands relaxed while walking.

  • Keep your arms as close as possible to your body while swinging them backwards and forwards to keep your motions fluid and effective for calorie burning.

  • To speed up your walking workouts, try increasing the speed at which your arms swing back and forth. You may be amazed that this will actually trigger an increase in your walking speed.

  • Maintain a relaxed feeling in your neck and shoulders. Focus on looking at what is directly in front of you and keeping your head held up straight at all times.

As mentioned earlier, walking is a natural motion for the human body and provides numerous benefits, both physical and mental. With today's sedentary lifestyle, a walking routine is an excellent first step towards a healthier tomorrow. Performing a walking routine regularly will improve your cardiovascular conditioning, increase your overall endurance, strengthen your core and lower body muscles, and create a more balanced and calm mental frame of mind.

Once you have added a regular and consistent walking routine to your lifestyle, you may want to consider adding an additional type of exercise. Examples of additional exercise routines to consider may include strength training, aerobics, yoga or Pilates.

Coupling multiple exercise types into your overall fitness routine will continually keep your body off balance and force it to respond by increasing the rate in which it increases strength, improves endurance, and eliminates excess body weight.